Canon’s new MG8120 printer packs a lot of features that make it a perfect printer solution for any home office. Included in the feature set is a built-in scanner, automatic two-sided (duplex) printing, and one of the fastest start-up times around. Even better are the connectivity choices: USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi b/g/n and Bluetooth plus IrDA. (By the way, the MG8120 is one of the few Wi-Fi printers that will also scan via the wireless connection.)
All of these features are extremely useful but the Canon MG8120 really shines as an accessory to any Canon camera – film or digital.
An inkjet printer that is useful for a film camera owner? Yes, the MG8120 has a built-in scanner that can scan prints up to 8.5X11, 35mm negatives and even mounted 35mm slides. The MG8120 is a great way to digitize film captured images.
The Canon MG8120 paired with a digital camera is really in its own element. Memory cards can be inserted directly into the printer and prints of any size can be made without using a computer. Do you have an iPhone or other Wi-Fi enabled device? Print from these personal assistants directly to the MG8120. Not to leave anyone out, the MG8120 also offers Bluetooth connectivity with an optional adapter. The MG8120 can also be setup as a Ethernet-wired network printer shared between multiple computers.
Another nice feature of the MG8120 is the six-color ChromaLife 100+ ink system. To the standard photo black, cyan, magenta and yellow inks the MG8120 adds both standard black and gray ink tanks. The standard black ink used for document printing is a large capacity tank, the new gray ink provides better shading on color prints plus superior B&W printing. On quality photo paper the ChromaLife 100+ ink has an archival life of more than 100 years.
So far if it sounds like the Canon MG8120 is a refinement of other printers currently on the market, you’d be right. But the MG8120 has a ‘killer app’ up its sleeve, Full HD Movie Print. It’s not news that most of today’s cameras can capture HD movie clips, but Canon’s cameras and select Canon printers open up a whole new way to think about shooting an event.
Full HD Movie Print works hand in hand with HD video-enabled Canon EOS and Powershot cameras. First the photographer shoots video of all or part of an event. Then a single frame is grabbed from the video file, perhaps the decisive moment when the football is caught or the race is won. The computer-based application then smooths and polishes the frame and makes a print. The results are a beautiful 4X6 print in rich color and high detail that you couldn’t tell came from a video source.
Full HD Movie Print opens up a whole new way to take pictures. No longer does a photographer have to wait for the precise moment to trip the shutter. Now the photographer can simply video a few seconds of the event and later capture the one frame needed to make a print. Never miss the kids blowing out birthday candles. Always capture the perfect smile. Shoot a few seconds of video and make a print of your child’s swing of a baseball bat. It’s fast and it’s easy plus the printed pictures can last for over 100 years (I'm pretty sure a hard drive won't last that long!).
Does this sound a little like cheating? Well, not if we consider that many newspaper photographers now film events with their DSLR’s rather than shoot still images. The benefit is in efficiency, at one time they capture video for the newspaper’s blog and a frame grab still for their print edition.
There are limitations of course; a 4X6 print is about as large as you'd want to go from an HD video frame, anything larger could start to lose quality. In addition, Canon's Full HD Movie Print will only work with Canon cameras. This is because they capture .MOV type HD movie files which the software understands. However for those photographers who need prints for the family album and love video and stills for Facebook and YouTube this style of shooting has a lot of appeal.
The Canon MG8120 is an excellent printer for the home office and the family photographer. More advanced photographers will enjoy the print quality and the wide selection of connectivity options. Anyone with a ton of 35mm negatives, slides and prints to digitize will appreciate the scanning options. From a style point of view the Canon MG8120 in its sleek, piano black shell is pretty easy on the eye too. At a street price of $299.99 the MG8120 covers a lot of ground and it does it quite well.